In 2017, after his family sold the Flying Tiger restaurant his grandparents had founded and his family had operated for nearly 30 years in downtown Fairborn, Minchun Li and his parents, Anna and Sheng Li, started looking for a new location for a brand new restaurant.
“We searched in Beavercreek, we searched in Oakwood, in Springboro, at Austin Landing, at The Greene,” Minchun Li said. “And then we found this place.”
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"This place" is the space at 2820 Colonel Glenn Highway across from Wright State University, which will become Hoshi Ramen in the next couple of months.
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There were many things the Li family liked about the location — its proximity to WSU, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, hotels, office buildings, a hospital — but the fact that it was in the city of Fairborn helped seal the deal.
“We want to serve our loyal customers who had come to the Flying Tiger for 30 years,” Li said. “We had three generations of many families coming through our restaurant, and they tell us how much they miss us when we see them around town.”
“We want to provide that joy, that same level of happiness, again.”
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The new restaurant “won’t be the Flying Tiger,” Li said, and its regular menu will focus primarily on Japanese ramen dishes that Li himself is perfecting rather than the Chinese dishes that filled his grandparents’ restaurant. But every week, he expects to offer specials from the former Flying Tiger menu — customer favorites that have proven popular for decades.
“My dad will do those specials, and I will focus on the Japanese portion of the menu, while my mom will oversee the front of the house,” Li said.
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Those Japanese dishes will include multiple styles of ramen, including Tonkotsu-style, based on a rich and hearty pork broth that has been simmered for 10 hours and topped with traditional ramen toppings such as soft-boiled egg and pork belly, Li said. The restaurant also will offer a variety of appetizers and fried-rice dishes, the Hoshi Ramen co-founder said.
Construction delays during 2018 have pushed back progress — “We should have been open five months ago,” Li said — and after a switch in contractors, Hoshi Ramen is on track to open in late spring, perhaps as early as mid-May, Li said. It is located in the former College Store bookstore, between Yaffa Grill Mediterranean Food and Tik’s Thai Express in a retail center across from WSU.
The 3,200-square-foot restaurant will seat about 100 and will employ about 20, Li said. The restaurant is accepting resumes at firstname.lastname@example.org.